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Diploma in Health and Social Care (HSC)
Unit Number and Title
Unit 31 Food Safety Management
With the harmful consequence of unsafe and contaminated food, Food Safety Management was set up and addressed by ISO 22000 (Pojasek, 2006). As of the fact that the food industry supply food at global scale it becomes necessary to ensure safe food trade. Therefore international standards are set up for safe global food supply chain. The motive behind the implementation of the food safety management is to meet the consumer requirement, retailer requirement and regulatory requirement. In addition to this adoption of food safety management means the adoption of practices that are specified by regulation. These practices include good hygienic practices, good manufacturing practices, hazard analysis and critical control point.
Hygiene is one of the important factor that is very crucial in a healthy living. This is applicable not only in personal hygiene but also in food preparation. Unhygienic food are the carrier of pathogens and germs which could lead to serious health and safety issues. The best practice is to be aware of what all preventive measures that can be taken in order to deal with these hygienic issue.
This Unit 31 Food Safety Management Assignment report is the illustrative study of the main factors that are responsible for food contamination. In this report we will discuss on the preventive control from physical and chemical contamination. The report is meant to focus on the distinctive features of food poisoning and food borne diseases and the control measures. There are various food preservation methods that are explained in detail. The Food Safety Management report analyses the importance of personal hygiene and various other factors such as cleaning, disinfection and pest control which is very helpful in supressing the contamination rate in almost all food industry. Moreover, the report will highlight the need of hygienic premises and the hygiene training. At last the report will present a detail assessment on risks from food hazard.
Control measure is basically referred to an approach to minimize and stopping the outbreak of the contamination and preventing the further reoccurrence. The objective of control measure is to alert the public and spread awareness about the preventive measures. It encourage to bring appropriate changes in the practices and policies to prevent other similar contamination issue.
Food contamination are majorly of two types:
Physical contamination is defined as the presence of physical object, often called foreign objects, on the food (Nollet, 2004). Some of these objects are hairs, glass, metal, insect parts, etc. This occurs mainly because of the negligence and unprofessionalism. It can cause injury and often leads to upset the one who is at the receiving end and is the victim of the contamination. There are certain methods and processes to prevent the physical contamination in the first place. Perhaps the most common contamination is human hair. For this the person preparing the food should wear a hairnet or hat while cooking. Also it would be good if jewellery could be removed while preparing food. Secondly, the building and especially the kitchen should be kept pest free. Flytraps and zapper should be placed away from food prepare zone. The packing of the food should be looked for before buying the food product. To be specific the food packing should not be dome with staples as this could increase the possibility metal staple falling into the food. This is very serious as it could cause injury.
Chemical contamination is referred to the contamination of the food through the improper handling of the chemical. One of the most common example of this is the selection of the vessel or utensil cleaning material. There are certain control measure to minimize the chemical contamination in the food. One of the basic contamination preventive method is to keep the chemicals such as detergent and sanitizer away before preparing the food items (D'Mello, 2003). Secondly, one has to stop using the containers that were earlier used for storing chemicals. Like in the figure below, the can was previously used to store insecticide is now used to scoop salt from the sack.
Another effective measure to stop food contamination through chemical agent is to stop using the insect killing sprays in the area where food is being prepared.
Food borne infection and disease are caused because of the contaminated meat, untreated water, food stored in improperly sealed container. The symptoms of the diseases caused by food borne contamination occurs in in a day or two. These includes nausea, fever, abdominal cramps, vomiting, etc. (Parkhill, 2000). Investigation and control of food borne disease require skills in the area of food safety and control. Some of the preventive measure includes cleanliness and hygiene while cooking food, properly cooking the food as it kills bacteria, faster refrigeration supresses the growth of bacteria, processed or treated water should be used for cooking or should be properly boiled and lastly food should be stored and preserved properly which is helpful in controlling foodborne infection.
There are various sources of food contamination which are microorganism, chemical hazards and physical hazards. Different sources of food contamination leads to different types of contamination and they have distinctive features. The food we eat and the water we drink can be easily contaminated by parasites, toxins, bacteria and chemicals that can cause food poisoning and food borne diseases.
The most common effect of food contamination is food poisoning. The most common factor that causes food poisoning is the toxin that is produced by the microorganism. The source of these toxins could be bacteria that are growing in the food. These bacteria may be the result of chemicals or some metallic substance in the food. Other than this, the toxins can be found in fishes or other animals. Skin of these animals and fishes may have concentrated toxin level in their flesh which is the outcome of their feeding environment. The symptoms of food poisoning can be witnessed soon after food consumption. These are frequent and uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea.
On the other hand, infection caused by food borne pathogens are basically caused by the parasites, bacteria and viruses (Parkhill, 2000). Some of the food borne pathogens are Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Norovirus and Listeria. The symptoms of food borne infection does not appear at faster rate as that in case of food poisoning. Since these are caused by pathogens so it takes much longer to show symptoms than toxins. Although food borne infection lasts for few days but sometimes it could get contagious. Also it takes much longer for the disease to cure. There had been cases of serious illness from food borne disease, even death.
Food spoilage agents are categorized as:
Water content is one of the food spoilage agent. Fresh food is considered to have water activity of 0.99. Water activity is the amount of water available in the food. Water content in the food directly affects the microbial growth. The more the water content in the food, more will be the microbial growth. One of the method to slow down the microbial growth is to add salt. Salt decreases the water content in the food.
Environmental factors are the agent that deteriorates the food. It does not matter if the food is fresh or processed, it will deteriorated at a certain rate if it comes in contact with environmental factor. These environmental factor are oxygen, warmth, light and moisture that triggers the food spoilage. Storing the food at low temperature supresses the rate of food spoilage. This is because enzymic and microbial decay is faster at higher temperatures.
Packing is basically not the spoiling agent but it ensure the prevention of the raw or processed food item from contamination in the presence environmental factors that are light, oxygen and moisture. The contamination of food from dirt, dust, chemicals, environmental factors and microorganism can be protected with proper packing and storage.
Food wastage has the major impact on the environment and bank account. One may not view it, but it is your money going down in a drain. There are few food prevention methods that can help curb food waste.
First is to do a food waste assessment which includes to track and measure the reason for its generation (Lundie, 2005). Apart from this one can identify the amount and type of food that is wasted at large. The data collected by this measure will help in creating the suitable food prevention strategy. This strategy will help a household or a business to identify the change that needs to be brought in the spending and knowing the diversion rate.
Another food preventive method is to reduce food waste. Scrape your scrap is a technique of food prevention which means that instead of throwing away extra carrot or half an onion, one can actually store it in freezer for secondary usage. For example, left overs chicken or shrimps can be used in soup or salad. Also one has to remember to use older products first to prevent food spoilage. Also the knowledge of proper storage technique helps in preventing food.
Lastly, one of the most important method of food prevention is to control the over purchasing of the food items. This can be controlled by preparing a guideline to ensure that only those items are purchased that are in need. The most effective way to control over purchasing is to buy the products when you need it by just in time ordering method. Also one can reduce food preparation waste. This includes technique to cook food properly, buying pre-cut items and reducing batch size. Reducing plate waste can also help in preventing food from spoilage. Left over and uneaten food contribute majorly to the food wastage. Serving sufficient amount of food on the plate is another technique to prevent food wastage.
Food preventive methods has many advantages not only to the environment but also to the pocket of the buyer. First of all food preventive method reduces the disposal cost. This means if the amount of food wasted is less, then the disposal cost of the trash will simultaneously be less. This is more prominent in big restaurants as the food waste is large in this business. Decreasing the food wastage allows business to pay less for trash disposal.
Food preventive method helps in reducing the over purchasing of raw material. This process has helped purchasing only those items that will be used. Also, this has helped in improving the effectiveness in preparing properly cooked food as there is less scope of disposal. In addition to this, in big restaurants, food preventive techniques reduced the labour cost and energy in food disposal.
Finally wasting food results in resource wastage that were used in growing or preparing the raw food item. Using proper food preventive measure helps to save a large amount of resources such as water, energy, pesticides and fertilizer that are useful in growing food items (Lundie, 2005). Also, this way one can save the greenhouse gas that is used in growing, manufacturing and disposing food materials.
Safe food storage is the method of preventing the food for longer usage and most importantly preserving the food to prevent it from food borne infections. Proper food storage also reduces the risk of food poisoning. Some of the food storage methods are:
Temperature Control System:
Temperature control plays an important role in keeping the food safe. Below is the demonstration of the temperature control for preserving food items:
8°C or below is ideal temperature to prevent the growth of bacteria in perishable food items. However it is recommended to keep the temperature of refrigerator at 5°C or below.
Bacteria multiplication is prevented at -18 °C or below in the food items that are meant to be preserves using freezer storage.
In order to kill bacteria of all types it is mandatory to cook the food at the temperature of 75 °C or above. However a temperature below 75 °C is also effective provided the food is cooed for longer duration.
Temperature of 65°C or above ca control the bacteria multiplication in hot food.
Food need to be cooled quickly and placed in refrigeration to limit germination of spores and bacteria growth.
Food that is already heated must be reheated at 82°C to ensure safe reheat at required temperature. Knowledge of Time/Temperature is important to ensure proper reheat and quality of food.
Various primary method of control over food contamination has been discussed above. In addition to those there are some secondary but important factors as well. These factors are personal hygiene, cleaning of food item, disinfection and pest control which are very helpful in controlling food contamination. Below are the detail description of these factors:
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An appropriate and suitable hygiene design of the food premise is very crucial in food industry, especially when it comes to control food contamination. The food premises need to have adequate space for the production of food items and should be equipped with proper utensils and appliance. Sufficient space allow the smooth movement of food item and the people in the premise. This is very essential aspect of hygiene design as ample space allows efficient work and reduces the probability of contamination in the food items. For example, if the place is congested, it hampers the movement and could lead in addition of unwanted substance in the food items such as hairs, detached knife tips, etc. Also presence of proper facility and equipment helps to proper preparation of the food item.
Hygiene design includes easy cleaning, sanitizing and maintenance of the premises (Carpentier, 2011). This practice is very helpful in minimizing the food contamination from germs. Facts states that germs are also a vital source of food poisoning. Proper sanitizing eliminate the presence of germs and supress their growth on floor, work bench, window tills, etc. It is very important to keep out dust, dirt, smoke and other contaminates. These factors are also equal contributor to food contamination. In order to deal with these proper exhaust is necessary to eliminate smoke and also walls and ceiling should be designed so that it could be easily cleaned when necessary.
Apart from this,the hygiene design of the premise includes the techniques to prevent it from harbourage of pests. Pests carry germs with them. Their presence can lead to food contamination and often food poisoning. Proper measure should be taken to keep the premise free from pests.
Hygiene training ensure that the food industry comply with the standards of food hygiene that are set for the industry. The hygiene training reduces the chances of food contamination which leads to food poisoning. And hence protecting the health of consumers of the food. Food hygiene training includes implementation of food safety management system, making sure that the members of staff undergo food hygiene course and maintain adequate hygiene standards.
The necessity of development of the sense and culture of food safety in people is of utmost importance. Hygiene training is the best practice to train the employees and the managers of the food producing industry to develop this food safety culture (Seaman, 2006). Failure to this process increases the risk of food contamination which could result in public’s poor health. The result of poor public health is not an easy matter to get over with. It could lead to serious concerns for the food industry. The potential issues that could occur in this case are customer dissatisfaction, loss of reputation and business and potentially huge legal cost.
In context with food safety identifying the hazards and estimating risk are the major factor to ensure food safety. Food hazards are the external agent or substance that are present in food items. These food hazards have adverse effect on the health of the consumer. These hazards are classified as chemical, physical and biological agent (Lammerding, 2000). Salmonella is a good example of a biological agent which has adverse effect on the consumer. Consumption of food with salmonella leads to food poisoning. Also chemical hazards such as mercury is a natural contaminant. The presence of mercury in some food item pose a potential risk to the consumer.
The risk from the food hazard is dependent on the exposure to the specific hazard and the severity of the health care issue posed by certain food hazard. For example, aflatoxin is a food hazard. The risk from this food hazard is that this hazard has the ability to cause liver cancer if the consumer is exposed to this at a high level and over a long period of time.
Food safety control system has the objective to protect health of public by reducing the risks from food borne diseases (Luning, 2008). Also it is meant to protect consumer from adulterated and mislabelled food, develop and maintain consumer confidence in food industry. The building blocks of food safety control system are:
It is clear from the report that hygiene plays a very important role in preventing food contamination. Maintaining a proper level of hygiene is very useful in supressing the physical, chemical and biological agents that cause food hazard and could lead to adverse health and social care issues. It is clear from the report that effective food preventive measure and temperature control system is helpful in preserving and preventing the food from the hazardous agents. The report has described the importance of various factors such as personal hygiene, cleaning the food premises, disinfectant and pest control method to prevent food contamination and to provide a safe food production condition. In addition to this, the structure and construction of the hygienic food premise is very useful minimizing the risk from the hazardous agents. The premise is meant to be clean and should contain all the disinfectant and pest control measure. Further the report has illustrated the importance of the hygiene training as a quality assurance mechanism.
Carpentier, B., & Cerf, O., 2011. Review—Persistence of Listeria monocytogenes in food industry equipment and premises. International journal of food microbiology, 145(1), 1-8.
D'Mello, J. F. (Ed.), 2003. Food safety: contaminants and toxins. CABI.
Lammerding, A. M., & Fazil, A., 2000. Hazard identification and exposure assessment for microbial food safety risk assessment. International journal of food microbiology, 58(3), 147-157.
Lelieveld, H., Holah, J., & Napper, D. (Eds.), 2014. Hygiene in food processing: principles and practice. Elsevier.
Lundie, S., & Peters, G. M., 2005. Life cycle assessment of food waste management options. Journal of Cleaner Production, 13(3), 275-286.
Luning, P. A., Bango, L., Kussaga, J., Rovira, J., & Marcelis, W. J., 2008. Comprehensive analysis and differentiated assessment of food safety control systems: a diagnostic instrument. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 19(10), 522-534.